Brilliant ways to play with blocks

We’re at Day Nineteen of our Simple Play :: complex learning series and today we’re looking at brilliant ways to play with blocks.

Brilliant ways to play with blocks | NurtureStore :: inspiration for kids

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Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials

Have you ever tried building stone cairns? If you have children who love building towers they’re a fab activity to try – combining natural materials, loose parts, construction play and just a little added dash of wow-factor!

A fun idea to try: building towers using natural materials. Fun balancing challenge.

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Garden chalkboard puppets

Yesterday I was out in the garden, paint brush in hand, at 8.30 in the morning. Seizing the cool part of the day I refreshed our garden chalk board with a new coat of paint. In our Victorian house we have what used to be an outhouse which we now use as a garden shed. It’s wooden door is perfect as our garden blackboard. The girls use it to draw, doodle and send messages to each other. But with some extra paint left in the I wondered what we could find to use it up and we decided to re-vamp a few of our wooden blocks to make some garden chalkboard puppets. Read more »

Measuring with lego


I’ve written before about taking a child’s passion and using it as a way to explore different areas of play and learning. Here’s an idea for mixing in some maths – which we’re doing through the medium of Lego, but you can adapt it to suit whatever your child is interested in, be it cars, dinosaurs or shells.

Measuring with Lego

  • Gather your investigation equipment: clipboard, pencil and some Lego
  • Select your experiment: what would you like to measure? The size of everyone’s feet? The height of your sunflowers? The length of your dinosaurs?
  • Make an estimate: how many Lego blocks would it take to measure your foot? Mummy’s foot? Daddy’s foot? Let your child record their guesses on their clipboard. A group of children can interview each other and record everyone’s estimates to see who comes closest.
  • Get measuring: counting out in Lego bricks is great for fine motor skills, numbers and for having a visual representation children can see and compare. Make a tower as long as each child’s foot (or whatever you are measuring) – you could add a sticker so you know which tower belongs to each person. Then you can order the towers in ascending or descending order, and even transfer this to a bar chart graph if you want to.
  • Compare your results: compare your lego towers with your estimates and see how well you did.
  • Let your explorers loose: hand over the Lego and see what else they can measure.

happily shared with abcand123 and math Monday and tot school and  Link and Learn and preschool corner and For the kids Friday


The Play Academy #8

Welcome back to the Play Academy community – come and add your link.

It’s Friday again! If you’re heading into the weekend and wondering how to amuse the kids then this is the place to swap ideas and find inspiration.


This week we’ve been inspired by the mega bloks competition Sally is running over at Who’s The Mummy. Block play is great for children of all ages. Babies enjoy holding, passing and dropping the blocks and banging them together to hear what noise they can make. Large blocks like these are a good choice for toddlers as the blocks fit nicely in their chubby hands and are easy for them to independently put together and pull apart. B still likes megabloks now she’s 7. If she’s building a land for her toys to live in these blocks hold together better than her wooden ones and their larger size means she can build her world quickly and then get on with the imaginative play she loves.

Will you share a play idea with us this week?

First time at the Play Academy? Find out more about how to play.

I’d love to encourage more people to join our link up and benefit from the play ideas. Would you help? You could include a link to this post on your blog, use our badge (grab the code from the left hand column) or spread the word on Twitter or your Facebook page? Thanks for your support.

And if you’re a fan of children’s crafts you’ll also love Maggy’s Kids Get Crafty link-up each Wednesday over at RedTedArt.